State Rep. Peter Barca
Press Release

New Education Statistics Show Taxpayer Money Subsidizes Families Able to Afford Private Schools

Republicans choose unaccountable private school voucher expansion over adequate resources to public schools

By - Oct 29th, 2013 03:11 pm

MADISON, WI — Today the state Department of Public Instruction released enrollment data for students in the expanded private school voucher program pushed by Republicans and their special-interest campaign donors. The dramatic new DPI data shows that nearly 80% of students who received private-school vouchers did not attend a Wisconsin public school last year.

Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca released the following statement in response to the shocking data:

“Republicans sold their undermining of public education by claiming they were giving a choice to parents of students in what they called ‘failing’ public schools. But families did not opt to leave public schools in droves. The Republican voucher scheme to expand statewide ended up overwhelmingly subsidizing students who were not in public schools.

“These new statistics are further proof taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being given away to unaccountable, private voucher schools – and the majority of that money is a giveaway to families whose children were already attending private school. And by expanding the private voucher program statewide, it’s clear that Republicans’ intent all along was to use taxpayer money to please some of their biggest special-interest supporters – not targeting communities where they claimed public schools were underperforming.

“There is no hiding that the Republicans took a record $1.6 billion away from our public schools two years ago and refused to restore even half that amount in the current budget. At the same time, Republicans gave millions to subsidize private school tuition as opposed providing adequate support to public school students all across Wisconsin.”

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